Brian H. Spitzberg

29Problems, paradoxes, and prospects in the study of communication competence

Since the time of the ancient Greek philosophers, pondering the nature of the art and science of rhetoric, the nature of the “good person speaking well” has been considered a central issue of a civilized polity. More recently, the quality with which we interact and negotiate our everyday encounters with one another has been linked not only to our subjective quality of life, but to our risks of morbidity and mortality. One of the ironies is that we know that competent communication is important, but there is precious little agreement about what we know of the nature of the process itself.

This irony of insight in the face of ignorance is not merely ...

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